Burnaby RCMP is investigating reports a dog might have been involved in the crash that killed a Byrne Creek Community School Grade 8 student Thursday afternoon.
Police confirmed a 14-year-old girl on foot had been fatally struck by a dump truck and trailer unit on 11th Avenue near 16th Street at about 3:20 p.m.
The investigation is still in its early stages, according to Burnaby RCMP Cpl. Brett Cunningham, and investigators are “exploring a number of investigative angles,” including what the people involved did before the collision, the mechanical condition of the vehicle, the layout and visibility of the street, any obstructions that may have been in place, road and weather conditions and speed.
Police have also gotten reports a dog might have been involved, Cunningham told the NOW.
“We are aware of reports from the neighbourhood that a dog may have been involved in the incident in some way,” he said. “At this time, we are not able to confirm that a dog played any role, but our officer continue to investigate all factors that may have contributed to this tragic incident.”
A school in mourning
Students at Byrne Creek Community School, just blocks away from the site of the fatal crash, were told of their classmate’s death Friday morning in a letter from principal Effie Aadland.
“It is with a heavy heart that I share some information with you,” stated the letter. “A Grade 8 student was fatally struck by a vehicle late yesterday afternoon. Our hearts break for the family who are facing this unimaginable loss. Our support and sympathy are with them.”
Aadland went on to say the tragedy is affecting many in the school community.
She said the school district’s critical incident response team was onsite at the school to help students trying to process the event.
Students feeling upset are encouraged to talk to one of the team members.
“Tragedies can be difficult to understand, especially when it is sudden,” Aadland states. “Students may be confronted with a variety of emotions which might include shock, sadness, anger and confusion. They might wish to share memories or feel a more urgent need to talk to someone.”